Somebody once said, "I really hope this whole COVID thing gets cleared up before tick season. Because then we'd have Corona with Lyme." I know, I know. Bad joke. But seriously, I'm for anything that points out how dangerous Lyme disease can be. And ticks are the only carriers of Lyme disease.

There are two types of ticks that spread the disease. There's the blacklegged tick(commonly referred to as the deer tick) that spreads it in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and north-central United States. And there's the western blacklegged tick that spreads the disease on the Pacific coast.

It is definitely tick season and according to some experts, it might be a bad one. Milder winters mean more ticks survive from year to year. See? Something else we can thank climate change for.

Milder winters also mean that ticks that used to live only in Southern states have now made the trip to New England. For instance, two new arrivals to the Northeast, the Asian Longhorned tick and the Gulf Coast tick have been spotted recently.

Experts say that when it comes to deer ticks and Lyme disease, the prevalence of infection in the Northeastern United States is nearly 50%. That's a frightening statistic, isn't it?

Fortunately, you don't have to be uninformed. There are plenty of ways you can protect yourself if you're spending time outdoors:

  • If you're going for a walk, walk in the middle of paths and stay out of tall grass
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants. And tuck your pants into your socks
  • Check yourself and your pet when you're done and remove any found ticks as soon as possible
  • Better yet, don't get ticks in the first place. Use plenty of tick repellent on yourself and your pets if you're heading outside

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

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